A great impression is integral to a successful case and gorgeous lab work. Often, a dental assistant can perform the entire process extremely well. This removes the burden from your shoulders, but it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t continue to optimize.
One of the most challenging aspects of making an accurate impression is materials selection. No single material choice will be perfect for all cases as you balance considerations of time, expense, and accuracy. These three areas are where some materials do better and some do worse.
Here’s what to consider as you decide to change or adjust your impression taking protocol:
Accurate Impression Materials Selection
How long does it take your assistant or yourself to mix the material? This mainly applies to alginate, as many VPS impression materials come pre-mixed. If you’re not considering the time it takes to prepare the impression material, you may be overlooking a significant problem.
Mixing is a variable process that can impact the success of the restoration and patient comfort. For this reason, it’s often necessary to factor in the unreliable mixing time into expected appointment duration. It will hurt practice productivity if you end up running late because the impression material is difficult to mix and messy.
It’s also important to take into account the dimensional stability of the material. Alginate does not have the greatest dependability in this area compared to VPS. Because alginate is hydrophilic, it can absorb water and can also dry out if not stored in a properly moist environment.
Still, alginate provides very high quality accuracy, which is why it is a solid choice for final impressions. In other situations, bypassing the downsides of the material is likely preferable.
What do you think is the most important consideration in impression taking? We’d love to know what you think! And have you read this recent blog on constructing the best dental lab scripts? Check it out for awesome advice …